Just as marketing departments the world over are rushing to deploy viral video on behalf of their companies, Gabe Delahaye at Videogum declares it a dying art form.

"In [a] recent post, I linked to a few viral videos as examples of the internet's ingenuity," he writes. "They were just the videos that stood out in my mind as being exceptional. You know, the viral video that is more than just some kid farting a powder cloud or a kitten that is also a ninja. The one you talk to your friends about. And what I discovered is that all of them were posted to YouTube in 2006. Begging the question, has the golden age of viral video already passed? Are we now living in its decline?"

Gawker says yes, with much enthusiasm, and blames... marketers for perverting all that was good with the Internet.

"As is the case with most phenomena, corporate interests were pretty quick to pick up the scent and glom on to viralness for their own nefarious gains," Gawker's Richard Lawson writes. "The idea of a viral ad campaign must have seemed pretty hip and edgy when the first smartass marketing kid pitched it at some meeting, but it quickly became irksome and frustrating and just too damn much."

"The marketing companies overplayed their hands on this one," he continues, "taking what could have been occasionally fun extra components to more mainstream ad campaigns and just overdoing it to death."

What do you think? Are viral campaigns two years too late? Also, an oldie but a goodie: